Male Fern Herb - Uses And Side Effects
Greek physicians recommended male fern as a delousing potion as far back as ,103 A.D. Today, London's Foods Standards Committee cautions against using the herb as a flavoring agent in foods.
Male fern comes from the dried rhizomes (underground stems) and roots of Dryopteris filix-mas, a perennial fern found in Europe, Asia, North America, South America, and northern Africa. Herbalists treat fresh rhizomes with ether to produce the herb's active components. When stored, rhizomes lose their herbal value in about 6 months.
The root-stock or rhizome is short, stumpy and creeping, lying along the surface of the ground or just below it. From its under surface spring the slender, matted roots. The crown of the rhizome is a brown, tangled mass, with the hairy bases of the leaves, and in it is contained the mass of undeveloped fronds which, as they unroll, grow in a large circular tuft and attain a length of from 2 to 4 feet. Each frond is wide and spreading, stiff, erect, broadly lanceolate or lance-shaped, the stalk covered with brown scaly hairs. The pinnae are arranged alternately on the mid-rib (which is also hairy), the lower ones decreasing in size, and each pinna divided again almost to its own mid-rib, the pinnules being oblong and rounded, with their edges slightly notched and their surface somewhat furrowed. The sori are on the upper half of the frond, at the back of the pinnules, in round masses towards the base of the segments, covered with a conspicuous, kidney-shaped indusium
Common doses of male fern
Male fern comes as extract, an extract draught (4 grams of male fern extract), and capsules (single- or combination product). Some experts recommend the following doses:
Some people have received 50 milliliters of male fern draught through a stomach tube to reduce digestive tract intolerance to the herb. This treatment may need to be repeated every 7 to 10 days. Male fern may be given as capsules but is considered more effective as a draught.
Use of male fern
Side effects of male fern
Call your health care practitioner if you experience any of these possible side effects of male fern:
Male fern also may increase bilirubin and albumin levels in the blood. Severe poisoning from the herb may cause respiratory failure, seizures, optic nerve pain, heart failure, coma, and death.
Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Don't use male fern within 1 to 2 hours of taking an antacid. Don't use male fern when taking:
Important points to remember
What the research shows
Male fern shows promise in treating tapeworms. But researchers don't know if the herb is effective by itself or only when used with other treatments, such as a low-residue diet and laxatives. Medical experts point out that prescription tapeworm treatments are much safer than male fern. Nonetheless, if such drugs fail, a person may want to consider using male fern after weighing its possible benefits against its side effects.
Other names for male fern : -
Other names for male fern include bear's paw, erkek egrelti, helecho macho, knotty brake, shield fern, sweet brake, and wurmfarn.
Products containing male fern are sold under such names as Aspidium Oleoresin, Bontanifuge, Extractum Filicis, Extractum Filicis Aethereum, Extractum Filicis Maris Tenue, Male Fern Oleoresin, and Paraway Plus.
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